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Are leather couches good with dogs?

If you’re a dog owner, you may be wondering if leather couches are a good choice for your home. Leather furniture can look stylish and luxurious, but how durable and practical is it when you have pets? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of leather couches and share tips on choosing the best leather for dogs.

The Pros of Leather Couches with Dogs

Here are some of the potential benefits of choosing leather couches if you have dogs:

  • Durable material. High quality, top grain leather is very durable and stain-resistant. It can withstand scratches, punctures, and regular wear and tear from pets better than fabric upholstery.
  • Easy to clean. Leather’s nonporous surface makes it relatively easy to clean compared to fabric. You can simply wipe away loose dirt, hair, and messes.
  • Hypoallergenic. For those with pet allergies, leather doesn’t harbor dander and odor like fabric can.
  • Stylish look. Leather has a timeless, stylish aesthetic that looks elegant in any home.
  • Investment piece. Quality leather furniture is built to last for years. The upfront cost is an investment that pays off in the long run.

The Cons of Leather with Dogs

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider when choosing leather with pets:

  • Scratching. All leather can show scratch marks from dog nails. This is especially true of smoother, lower-grade leather.
  • Damage from bodily fluids. Urine stains may be difficult to remove completely from leather. Feces accidents can also discolor or stain leather.
  • Tearing. Leather may be durable overall, but it can still be scratched or torn by overly excited pups or roughhousing pets.
  • Color transfer. Leather can absorb dye from your dog’s fur. This is especially noticeable with white or very light-colored leathers.
  • Heat retention. Leather absorbs and retains heat. This can make it less comfortable for pets to lay on during warm weather.

Tips for Choosing the Best Leather for Dogs

If you decide to go with leather, there are certain types and finishes that are better suited for pets. Here are our top tips for choosing leather couches with dogs in mind:

  • Opt for top grain over genuine leather. Top grain is the highest quality leather that’s most durable and easily repaired.
  • Consider protective finishes. Leather with stain-resistant and scratch-resistant coatings will better withstand dog messes and claws.
  • Choose darker colors. These hides the everyday wear, stains, scratches, and fur transfer better than light leathers.
  • Pick smoother leathers. Less texture means fewer places for claws to catch and tear.
  • Avoid aniline leather. This is dyed leather without protective finishing and will stain easily.
  • Get leather or vinyl with a woven fabric backing. The fabric makes it more comfortable for dogs to lay on.

Best Leather Couch Options for Dogs

Taking all of these factors into consideration, here are some of the best leather couch options for homes with dogs:

Brand & Model Type of Leather Finish Color Options
Room & Board Marlowe Leather Sofa Top grain leather Self-healing finish 5 colors including black and brown
West Elm Andes Leather Sofa Top grain aniline leather None 13 colors including dark gray and navy
Crate & Barrel Axis II Leather Sofa Top grain leather Protected leather with polyurethane 13 colors including black and chocolate
Pottery Barn Turner Square Arm Leather Sofa Full grain leather Performance weave backing 7 colors including chestnut and espresso
Joybird Korver Leather Sofa Italian top grain leather Stain-repellant coating 23 colors including navy and charcoal

These leather sofas combine durable, high-quality hides with pet-friendly finishes and darker color options that help hide wear. The woven fabric backings also make them more comfortable for furry friends.

Caring for Leather Furniture with Dogs

To keep leather couches in good condition with pets, be sure to follow these care tips:

  • Vacuum and dust leather weekly using a soft brush attachment. This prevents dirt buildup that can scratch the surface when pets jump on and off the couch.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a damp, clean cloth to prevent stains. Avoid using abrasive cleaners.
  • Use leather conditioners periodically to moisturize and protect the leather.
  • Keep dog nails trimmed to minimize scratching and damage to the leather.
  • Repair any scratches with a leather filler balm to prevent further tearing.
  • Consider couch covers or throws to protect areas your dogs frequent, like their favorite sleeping spot.

Are Leather Couches Ultimately Good for Dogs?

At the end of the day, leather couches can be a perfectly suitable and stylish choice for homes with dogs. The right type of high-quality, durable leather paired with pet-friendly care makes leather furniture very livable. Here are a few final pros and cons:

Pros Cons
  • Withstands scratches, punctures
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Timeless, stylish look
  • Long-lasting investment
  • Can show some scratch marks
  • Urine stains may not come out fully
  • Risk of tearing from roughhousing
  • Can absorb dye from dog fur
  • Gets hot for dog to lay on

With the right expectations about normal wear and tear, leather sofas can be a great option for pet owners. Be sure to clean and condition the leather regularly for best results. And invest in high-quality, pet-friendly leathers if you choose to buy new furniture.


Leather couches can be a stylish yet practical upholstery choice if you have dogs at home. Look for durable top grain leather with protective finishes in darker colors. Help the leather withstand everyday use by keeping it cleaned and conditioned. With proper care and pet-friendly leather selections, leather sofas can be a fashionable, long-lasting furniture piece that both you and your furry companions can enjoy.